Sometimes I hate myself. For example, today.
I was already late for rehearsal with my worship band at church in Fremont, and as I was texting them this information, I was pulled over and cited for texting while driving. Now I was missing my rehearsal and also soon-to-be hundreds of dollars poorer.
Self-hatred. Why? They were expecting me and I wasn’t there. Their respect for me surely decreased. And it is apparent that my pride requires success in maintaining the respect of others for me in order to allow me to respect myself.
This is the second time in two months being ticketed. The first was due to speeding, again when I was going to be late to worship rehearsal in Fremont. $415 fine. I am planning to attend traffic school on Monday to take it off my driving record, but this second citation is too soon. Now my insurance will go up. And I’m even poorer.
Self-hatred. Why? Because my pride says I must not make financially significant mistakes, I must not allow myself to have any self-respect when I screw up.
I thought to myself: I hate driving. I need a motorcycle to get through the traffic. I need a new iPhone with Siri and a headset so I can text without texting.
But no, these are not the true solutions. I don’t hate driving. I hate myself. Why? Because I am a law breaker. I screwed up, but then I willfully broke the law to attempt to cover my errors. And the error compounded.
It is a curious thing about humans that we want to break laws. Computers don’t break laws. They do what they are programmed to do. But even if we understand the law, and believe in its rightfulness, its helpfulness to us as a society, we perceive that we could better our own personal situation by breaking the law, without regard to how we may hurt ourselves of anyone else. We don’t let ourselves simply obey good laws. In fact, we fear the consequences of obedience.
Sometimes we feel bad about getting caught, and we make plans to continue lawbreaking in ways that circumvent law enforcement. But sometimes we feel bad about being the kind of person who is willing to be a lawbreaker. When we set a law in our hearts, and we believe it, and we break it despite our convictions, counting ourselves above the law. When we realize what we have done, and how corrupt our thinking is, then we hate ourselves. This is true remorse and sorrow. We try to fix ourselves, but we remain broken.
Jesus was murdered. Yet while he hung, bleeding, gasping, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing!”
We are truly confused people; we truly do not know what we are doing.
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd.”
Jesus doesn’t hate us, even when we hate him. He wants to show us the way to life. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. Whoever believes in me will live and never die.”
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that through Him the world might be saved.”
Yes, Lord. Save me from myself. Save me from the death that my lawbreaking deserves. I have broken your laws, O God! And my self-hatred is right and just. But you, O Lord, do not hate me. You cover me with your love and protection, you make your righteousness and your mercy known by punishing my sins as they deserve, not in my own body, but in Your Only Begotten Son’s body.
And every day is a day of new grace. The sun shines, the breeze blows, the birds chirp, the grass greens, the flowers blossom, the trees give shade. There are new foods to try every day, new beauties to see and enjoy. This is because You are Good. Blessed are all who put there trust in you.
So I do not hate myself. My every sin and error is covered by the Blood of Jesus. And there is more and more grace, every day, into resurrection and eternity. Your mercies are new every morning, Lord. In your presence are pleasures forevermore! My soul delights in you, O my God. I could sing of your love forever. Great is Thy faithfulness. It is well with my soul.
All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voice and with us sing, Halellujah!
Look, a flower! God is good.